“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” (Chinese Proverb)
Every year at Children’s Garden School students have several after school and before school clubs to choose from. These clubs are usually sports or arts related and are created and run by CGS staff. Two years ago our Principal, Marie Bates, decided to get into the mix as well. Her inspiration to create The Principal’s Club came from her own desire to reach out to the local and global community. She wanted to share this desire with CGS students and reveal to them, through direct experience, the power they hold to make a difference in the world. This has always been an important part of the curriculum at CGS, delivered through our Cultural Studies and Character Education program. The Principal’s Club was designed as a natural extension of this philosophy and a specific call to action. The Club has far surpassed Marie’s expectations and has been an incredible success for the children, both as an ongoing fundraising effort and educational experience.
In the first weeks of the Club’s existence membership went from 10 students to 26. Everyone wanted to get in on the action. The Club set a goal to purchase a well in an Indian village for $750. Students gathered every Friday to make crafts and organize small, in-school fundraisers to raise the money they needed. The lobby was often full of cookies, freshly baked bread, and beautiful Easter or Valentine’s Day cards and crafts. The children put their heart and soul into the making of these things, knowing that their efforts would lighten the load for people far away. The first well was purchased by March and the children, encouraged by their success, set the goal to raise enough for another well. They reached this goal by May and then moved on to outfitting classrooms in India, at a cost of $800 each. Believe it or not this goal was reached… twice. With the support of CGS parents and staff the children were able to set and attain goals while establishing a concrete connection with the needs of other people in the world. The SOPAR Walk for Water was a particular highlight. All students at CGS (even our preschoolers) walked carrying pails of water to show solidarity with the people of India who must walk miles each day to obtain water. They realized how hard it was to carry the water without spilling it and how precious this resource truly is.
In 2011/12 The Principal’s Club partnered with CanWES (The Canadian World Education Society). Based in British Columbia, CanWES built and now maintains The Mount Everest English School in Nepal, in response to an incredible need in the country for free, quality education for both boys and girls in remote areas. Over the course of the year $2,000 was raised by The Principal’s Club – an amazing accomplishment for children so young.
The 2012/13 Principal’s Club has chosen Children of Hope Uganda as their charity for this year. Their mission is to use education as a primary tool to promote the recovery and reintegration of war-affected children in Northern Uganda. The students of this year’s Principal’s Club will be raising funds to assist in a brand new project of COHU, the Barlonyo Early Childhood Development Centre, that will soon open its doors and accommodate as many as 300 young children from age 2 to 7.
We look forward to the Holiday Sale on Wednesday, December 5th. Good luck Principal’s Club! We wish you much success in your fundraising efforts.
In the privileged country of Canada, and even more so in our affluent Toronto neighbourhood, it is critical that children begin early to understand that the world is bigger than their own backyard. This concept is incredibly difficult to grasp unless there are creative, dedicated adults to help show them the way. At CGS, The Principal’s Club has served this need so beautifully, providing a vehicle for our entire community to make a difference.
Some lovely feedback from across the country…
I had a chance to check out your website and wanted to send a short note to
thank you so much for your support of canWES.
My son who is in grade 12 at Belmont Secondary School in
Victoria, is currently in Sanitar along with two fellow students.
It is so amazing that he was given the opportunity to
truly see the world from a global perspective. Along with that, we would
hope he is able to learn much about the world beyond his own life, and to
understand and make a committment to being a responsible person in our
It is evident from reading through your web site that your school clearly
nutures this responsibility and caring of others.
Again, I thank you for your support of canWES and look forward to hearing
news about the partnership as we all grow together in our support of the
A Belmont Secondary School parent
To learn more…